The Sunday Mail
Stories by Mtandazo Dube
Oliver Mtukudzi, the grand-dad of Zimbabwean music is planning a big surprise for his legion of fans after so many months away from home. The music legend rarely speaks to the media but last week he opened up to this publication saying the upcoming “Greatest Hits Tour” will be a show like no other.
Speaking at his Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton last week, Tuku explained the idea behind the concert saying: “We have been out of the country for over two months and since our return we have not done any of the shows that our huge fan base is accustomed to. So we decided to spice things a little this time by making people vote for their own play list.
“After spending so long a time away from home, there are things that one misses about being home and for me it is the fans, I miss them. So together with my management team, we came up with a plan to please the fans and we chose to make them vote using a website platform, Zimbojam and radio, ZiFM Stereo.
“We will collect all the votes and create a set list for the show, based on what our fans would have said. I believe it is going to be a show of a lifetime as we rekindle our relationship,” said Tuku.
However, Tuku fans will have to wait a little longer for this mega concert which was scheduled for this Thursday but has been postponed.
According to Sam Mataure, Tuku’s manager, the “Shamiso” singer moved his show to pave way for a number of high profile events taking place this week.
“There are many events taking place this week and some of them are of national importance, so we have had to move our show to a more suitable date. Everything else remains the same including the venue and the supporting acts,” said Mataure.
The show, which is set to take place at the Harare International Conference Centre, has been moved to next Friday, April 25.
Dubbed “Greatest Hits Tour”, the show features a plethora of artistes, among them the vivacious Ammara Brown, curvaceous Jean Masters, talented guitarist Tariro neGitare and Douglas Chimbetu.
Mtukudzi, who is fresh from a tour of the USA, Canada and the UK, having started touring in 1981, says he realises that he might never really have time to be full time at home as he always has to dash somewhere for a festival or show in some country or continent.
“Since I crossed the border into Zambia for my first shows outside Zimbabwe 33 years ago, there has been no stopping. So I would rather have a good time with my fans while I still can and whenever I manage to squeeze some time,” he said.
He added: “Zimbabweans all over the world are the same.
“They have a tendency of not buying tickets in advance and most of the time they never make it to our shows. It breaks my heart.”
The 62-year-old musician says as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations this year, the “Solo Festival”, which is held in September and his birthday in the same month, are going to be unique events.
“There are many artistes that have passed through Pakare Paye in the 10 years that we have been doing programmes. As we celebrate 10 years this year, we are going to unveil a special programme, all dotted around the ‘Solo Festival’ and my birthday,” he said.
At Pakare Paye, Tuku plays every Saturday afternoon for free, largely for the people of Norton, his guests booked into his 33 luxury chalets, rehearsing artistes or walk in patrons who pop in for a drink at the bar or some eats at the restaurant.
The venue has hosted some of the top regional artistes including Hugh Masekela, Judith Sephuma, Ringo Madlingozi, Steve Dyer and Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, to name just a few.